Skip to main content

Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

See other formats

by his secretary, that a cavalier demanded audience of him upon an affair of honour. Gray and I flew behind the curtain of the door. An elderly gentleman, whose attire was not certainly correspondent to the greatness of his birth, entered, and informed the British minister, that one Martin, an English painter, had left a challenge for him at his house, for having said Martin was no gentleman. He would by no means have spoke of the duel before the transaction of it, but that his honour, his blood, his &c. would never permit him to fight with one who was no cavalier; which was what he came to inquire of his excellency. We laughed loud laughs, but unheard: his fright or his nobility had closed his ears. But mark the sequel: the instant he was gone, my very English curiosity hurried me out of the gate St. Gallo: 'twas the place and hour appointed. We had not been driving about above ten minutes, but out popped a little figure, pale but cross, with beard unshaved and hair uncombed, a slouched hat, and a considerable red cloak, in which was wrapped, under his arm, the fatal sword that was to revenge the highly injured Mr. Martin, painter and defendant. I darted my head out of the coach, just ready to say, 'Your servant, Mr. Martin,' and talk about the architecture of the triumphal arch that was building there ; but he would not know me, and walked off. We left him to wait for an hour, to grow very cold and very valiant the more it grew past the hour of appointment. We were figuring all the poor creature's huddle of thoughts, and confused hopes of victory or fame, of his unfinished pictures, or
revisited England since taking tip his appointment, althoughin 1775,on the death of his brother Edward Louisa Mann, he succeeded to the estate of Linton, in Kent. The Walpole and Mann families -were connected, and this probably accounts, in the first instance, for Horace Walpole's residence in Florence -with Harm, whose
inmate he was at different timea during Ma stay in Italy in 1739 and 1741. Walpole and Mann became intimate friends, and when, tlie former returned to England they began a correspondence -winch, continued uninterruptedly for forty-five years (during which period they never met), until Mann's death.